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Wayne Cavadi | | December 9, 2017

West Fla. stuns No. 1 seeded Indiana (Pa) to play for national title

DII Football: West Florida advances over Indiana (PA)

Nothing should come as a surprise anymore with this West Florida football team. Once again, the Argonauts did the unthinkable, beating undefeated Indiana (Pa.) to advance to the finals of the Division II Football Championship.

Interactive bracket | Printable bracket

The Argos continue their dream season, punching a ticket to Kansas City behind a 27-17 upset of No. 1 seeded IUP. It is simply remarkable with all things considered. This is just the second season West Florida has had a football program. Head coach Pete Schinnick has his team playing for a championship with only 25 games under its belt.

West Florida made the trip to George P. Miller Stadium in Indiana, Pa as the lowest seed remaining. The Argos used an incredible first half to silence the high-powered IUP offense and jump out to an early 17-0 lead. The Crimson Hawks entered the semifinals averaging 471.8 yards per game — 12th-best in DII football — and 36.9 points per game. The Argos defense, that has stepped up since the playoffs started, controlled the first half, limiting the Crimson Hawks to just 60 yards and a little over 10 minutes of possession.

It was all the Argos needed. Gulf South Conference Freshman of the Year Mike Beaudry found Kevin Grant for his second touchdown pass of the day to put West Florida up 24-0 early in the third quarter. Beaudry finished the day with 152 yards and two touchdowns against the Crimson Hawks' 12th-ranked defense. IUP made its run, scoring 14 unanswered in the third quarter, but the West Florida defense once again clamped down and running back Chris Schwartz helped to control the clock, reeling off 175 yards and a touchdown on the day.

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The Argos led a balanced attack, efficient enough to keep the ball away from IUP quarterback Lenny Williams, Jr. and the deadly rushing attack of Samir Bullock and Justice Evans just long enough. On defense, John Williamson, the GSC's 2017 sack leader, led the way with two sacks but it was a combined effort to hold IUP to 242 total yards on the day.

West Florida is now 11-3, but the Argos are looking for that big 12th victory. They head to Kansas City, Kansas once again as the underdogs, but if we've learned one thing this postseason, it's that you can never count out the Argos.

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